Do you ever wonder why you keep messing up your diet plan? Amazingly it has little to do with the diet you picked and more to do with some psychological factors.
Make your diet plans when you aren’t hungry
Studies show that people make better food choices when they aren’t hungry. So the plan of never going to a grocery store hungry is true, and here’s why. When you plan your meals ahead of time while you’re not hungry, you will be more willing to take the time necessary to pick healthy alternatives and limitations. People who are hungry tend to be impatient because all they care about is feeding their hunger pangs.
Plan what you will do when strong emotions strike.
Depression can cause overeating. Eating has long been an answer to comfort. When your mind and emotions are craving relief, we look for comfort with food. After we eat the “comfort” food, we feel better momentarily and reinforce the strategy we developed for coping with our psychological needs. Instead of using food when we are sad, in pain, lonely, or anxious we need to plan ahead for each emotion. Choose the healthier option of what to do when we feel it. For example, when we are feeling emotional pain, we could soothe it by listening to calming music, talk to a friend, go for a walk to implore your senses with other pleasures besides taste.”
Change your mentality to what you will gain instead of what you will lose.
Focusing too much on weight loss instead of healthy eating can cause your choices to backfire. This emphasis is especially true in homes where children hear the words like “I need to lose weight,” “I am fat,” or “stop eating so much because you will get fat.” An overall lifestyle choice to live a healthier life helps support the dietary choices that you make. The mindset of giving up fun foods needs to change to the mentality of I am going to feel better by eating this way and similar ideas.
Overcoming the increase in appetite that dieting can stir up in your body. Researchers have found that the body has a hormone that naturally works to signal the brain to tell us we’re hungry. When we eat less the hormone tends to kick in stronger which in turn gives us more powerful urge to eat than we had before. In this part of dieting, we have to learn to recognize that we can’t always trust our appetites. It’s okay to feel hungry when the body doesn’t need the food. This feeling is often called brain hunger.
Plan what you will eat when you are stressed.
We don’t have a plan in place for eating when we are stressed. I don’t know about you, but I tend to be a poor planner for grocery shopping and cooking. I figure it takes more time to plan, so I’ll choose to throw something together. But it may be worth the effort and the extra time it takes to figure out what will satisfy us during stressful times. Years ago when I gave up smoking, I would fidget with things around me to keep my hands busy. I was accustomed to having a cigarette in my hand because it was uncomfortable when I had empty hands. Likewise, I think our habits during stressful times need to change to a better pattern that doesn’t include overeating. Maybe it’s having a bunch of grapes washed and ready to eat in front of the TV, picking up an interesting book, or going for a walk. If we have a plan, then stress doesn’t ruin the will to eat healthily.
We allow ourselves to go to places with enticing smells of foods we can’t eat. We even go to buffet style restaurants where we might feel the pressure to eat more to get our money’s worth.
Believe that you can live with discomfort without giving in to temptation.
We need to know that we can overcome uncomfortable feelings. We live in a world that’s more focused on feeling good and being good to ourselves. Then we misinterpret that thought to give in to our desires instead of believing we have the willpower and ability to overcome the feeling of discomfort or missing out that dieting can bring. We need to be willing to feel uncomfortable if it means being in better health.
Positive thinking skills can help us be successful in many areas of our life, like sticking to a budget, meeting our goals, and not messing up our diets. Find out more here.